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Asian Qualifiers - Group G Preview: Vietnam, UAE target victories over Malaysia, Indonesia ahead of showdown

Dubai: With Thailand and Malaysia already slipping off the pace, it is down to Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates in the race for the top spot in Group G of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

Group hosts the UAE theoretically have the easier of the two tasks as they take on winless Indonesia at Zabeel Stadium on Friday.

Meanwhile, Vietnam will hope to repeat their win against Malaysia to retain the summit of the group going into the final matchday.


Sitting at the bottom of Group G without a win in six and with just one point, Indonesia sign off against group hosts UAE.

The reverse fixture also took place in Dubai back in October 2019 and saw the UAE defeat Indonesia 5-0 courtesy of an Ali Mabkhout hat-trick sandwiched between a Khalil Ibrahim opener and a Tariq Ahmed injury time goal.

The two sides come into Friday’s game on the back of highly contrasting fortunes; the UAE’s two games in the restart ended in big wins, with a 4-0 triumph over Malaysia followed up with a convincing 3-1 win over Thailand to put them within touching distance of leaders Vietnam.

Indonesia, meanwhile, flattered to deceive, coming from behind twice against Thailand to collect a point with a 2-2 draw before a solid first-half draw against Vietnam gave way to a spectacular collapse as they conceded four times in the second half to register their sixth defeat in seven games.

Indonesia v UAE
Venue: Zabeel Stadium, Dubai
Kick-off: 20:45 hours (UTC+4)


Vietnam are looking to extend their unbeaten run in the Asian Qualifiers to seven games as they take on a Malaysia side hopeful of overtaking Thailand into third place of Group G with a win on Friday.

Malaysia’s only game since the restart ended in heartbreak as they suffered a 4-0 defeat against the UAE, a result that undermined their two preceding wins and ended their hopes of finishing in top two, but having played a game less than Thailand, coach Tan Cheng Hoe’s men could leap above the War Elephant with two positive results in their two remaining games.

Vietnam, on the other hand, tightened their grip on the top spot with an emphatic 4-0 win against Indonesia, in the process recording a third consecutive clean sheet and cementing their place two points clear of the UAE at the summit.

Nguyen Quang Hai scored the only goal of the game when the two sides met in Hanoi back in 2019, a result that started a streak of three wins in a row for the Vietnamese which put them on course for their current position.

Malaysia v Vietnam
Venue: Al Maktoum Stadium, Dubai
Kick-off: 20:45 hours (UTC+4)

*Polls end on June 11, 23:00 hours (UTC+8)